MIT – convenience not speed of grocery deliveries most important

New research from MIT suggests that online grocery shoppers place a higher priority on the date and time of delivery than the speed at which it can be delivered.

The paper, published in the MIT Sloan Management Review also showed that customers will wait up to 10.8 hours longer for their goods to be delivered if the delivery window is shortened by an hour and 7.5 hours longer should they be able to schedule it for the day of the week they prefer.

The research differs from a raft of other research into grocery delivery that has argued that speed matters most to grocery and convenience delivery shoppers.

Pedro Amorim, assistant professor of industrial engineering at the University of Porto, one of the two authors of the paper, argued that those businesses not well placed to compete on within-the-hour delivery can still keep competitive if they offer a convenient time and narrow delivery window.

At the same time theses firms are in possession of large quantities of information regarding their customers’ online shopping behaviour and delivery preferences that together can be used to understand the links between what items the customer buys and how they want to receive those orders.

“Leveraging customers’ willingness to pay for the three core home delivery attributes of speed, precision, and day choice will require omnichannel retailers to consider preferences beyond simply delivery speed,” Amorim and co-author Nicole DeHoratius wrote.

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